By Stu Cvrk
The legacy media have breathlessly propagated the news that the House Judiciary Committee voted out two articles of impeachment against President Trump on Tuesday. The media have also turned themselves into pretzels in claiming that the articles of impeachment voted out of the House in 1998 against Bill Clinton pale in comparison with those passed out of committee by the Democrats last week. The arguments put forth by the Democrats are taken at face value by the legacy media while counter-arguments from Republicans are essentially wished away. Here is one such example among many:
On the substance, Republicans argue that the president did not abuse his power because Ukraine was known to be a corrupt country and that there is no "direct evidence" of a "quid pro quo" or solicitation of a bribe from a foreign leader.
Democrats and multiple witnesses have plenty of counterpoints that have been litigated for weeks since the beginning of the public impeachment inquiry process.
Republicans would argue that Clinton and Nixon committed statutory crimes that were outlined in the articles of impeachment, and therefore, their impeachment cases were more serious. Democrats believe Trump's abuse of power is worse than Clinton's.
… [T]hey believe what Trump did was worse than Nixon because of a broader effort by Trump to stymie congressional oversight ...
The article continues in the same vein: strong Republican points counteracted by vague and unsubstantiated Democrat claims and the article concluding with tacit endorsement of the Democrat narrative by quoting Eric Swalwell (!!), of all people:
"The president committed the highest crime against the Constitution by abusing his office," Swalwell said, "cheating in an election, inviting foreign interference for a purely personal gain while jeopardizing our national security and the integrity of our elections."
Read the whole article here.
Keep in mind that this is just one of DOZENS of legacy media articles that propagate the same Democrat narrative – that President Trump’s actions were far worse than those associated with Clinton’s “lying about sex.”
Let’s compare a few facts between the Clinton and Trump articles of impeachment.
The two articles against Clinton voted out of the House pointed to eleven actual underlying crimes committed by Clinton, ranging from perjury and suborning perjury to obstruction of justice.
Article One: In his conduct while President of the United States . . . in violation of his constitutional oath to faithfully execute the office of the President . . . has . . . undermined the integrity of his office . . . betrayed his trust as President . . . and acted in a manner subversive of the rule of law by:
- willfully corrupting and manipulating the judicial process of the United States for his personal gain and exoneration
- willfully committing perjury by providing false and misleading testimony to the grand jury in relation to his relationship with an employee
- willfully committing perjury by providing false and misleading testimony to the grand jury in relation to prior perjurious testimony in a civil rights action brought against him
- allowing his attorney to make false and misleading statements in the same civil rights action
- attempting to influence witness testimony and slow the discovery of evidence in that civil rights action
Article Three: . . . has [in the Paula Jones Case] prevented, obstructed, and impeded the administration of justice by:
- encouraging a witness to give a perjurious affidavit
- encouraging a witness to give false testimony if called to the stand
- allowing and/or encouraging the concealment of subpoenaed evidence
- attempting to sway a witness testimony by providing a job for that witness
- allowing his attorney to make misleading testimony
- giving false or misleading information to influence the testimony of a potential witness in a Federal civil rights action
- giving false or misleading information to influence the testimony of a witness in a grand jury investigation
To summarize, the two articles of impeachment voted out of the House in 1998 were based on 11 actual crimes that were documented in great detail after months of investigation and the testimony of many witnesses – all methodically conducted by Independent Counsel Ken Starr. The Democrats and the Democrat operatives in the legacy media would have us forget about Clinton’s real crimes, none of which were disputed and which can be read in full here. They would also have us forget that Clinton was disbarred for his actions afterward!
Now let’s look at the Democrats’ articles of impeachment drawn up against President Trump, as provided online here.
Article 1: Abuse of Power
[Much preamble to introduce the following actual charges:]
- President Trump – acting both directly and through his agents withing and outside the US government – corruptly solicited the Government of Ukraine to publicly announce investigations into
- A political opponent, former Vice President Joseph R. Biden, Jr.: and
- A discredited theory promoted by Russia alleging that Ukraine – rather than Russia – interfered in the 2016 US presidential election
- With the same corrupt motives, President Trump – acting both directly and through his agents within and outside the US government – conditioned two official acts on the public announcement that he had requested –
- The release of $391M of US taxpayer funds that Congress had appropriated on a bipartisan basis for the purpose of providing vital military and security assistance to Ukraine to oppose Russian aggression and which President Trupm had ordered suspended; and
- A head of state meeting at the White House, which the President of Ukraine sought to demonstrate continued US support for the Government of Ukraine in the face of Russian aggression.
Article II. Obstruction of Congress
[Much preamble to introduce the following actual charges:] President Trump abused the powers of his high office through the following means:
- Directing the White House to defy a lawful subpoena by withholding the production of documents sought therein by the Committees.
- Directing other Executive branch agencies and offices to defy lawful subpoenas and withhold the production of documents and records from the Committees – in response to which the Department of State, Office of Management and Budget, Department of Energy, and Department of Defense refused to produce a single document or record.
- Directing current and former Executive Branch official not to cooperate with the Committees – in response to which nine Administration officials defied subpoenas for testimony … (names listed).
To summarize the Democrat articles against President Trump:
- Two articles of impeachment with unsubstantiated allegations based on hearsay and the personal opinion of witnesses. No prima facie case based on real, first-hand evidence to substantiate any of the charges made. In fact, the Democrats own witnesses exonerated the President with their testimony.
- No crimes cited. The articles are targeted at the President’s motivations (guessed at!) instead of his real actions and deeds. An historical first for a presidential impeachment.
- An attempt to politicize presidential policy positions in the area of foreign policy, which the Constitution provides as the purview of the President.
- Prima facie evidence that exonerates the President completely ignored, including the two phone call transcripts, Sondland’s first-hand testimony, and the public denials of pressure by both President Trump and President Zelensky.
- Complete misinterpretation of the favor suggested by the President during the second phone call. “Do us a favor” was changed to “do me a favor,” for all practical purposes. And that’s a primary basis for their first article of impeachment.
- Willful ignorance of historical executive privilege, which every previous US president has used to withhold privileged information from Congress.
- The bogus offense of “Obstruction of Congress.” The Executive and Legislative branches are co-equal, and the President retains legal rights to contest congressional subpoenas through the federal courts.
As with virtually everything else in the legacy media these days, it is patently absurd to believe their spin that President Trump’s fully legal actions are somehow worse than the false narrative that Clinton was impeached for “lying about sex.” That’s a double lie! Clinton's impeachment was about his commission of real crimes and was far worse than the unsubstantiated allegations of the Democrats' impeachment articles against President Trump, which are allegations against his motives, not his deeds and actions.
The bottom line: no crimes committed (Trump) and no basis for impeachment versus 11 documented crimes (Clinton) that fully justified his impeachment. That’s the real comparison.
Stu Cvrk served 30 years in the US Navy in a variety of active and reserve capacities, with considerable operational experience in the Middle East and the Western Pacific. An oceanographer and systems analyst through education and experience, Stu is a graduate of the US Naval Academy, where he received a classical liberal education. This functions as the key foundation for his political commentary. He threads daily on Twitter on a wide range of political topics, such as the military, foreign policy, government, economics, and world affairs.